"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first." ~Mark Twain
Title: The State of Things
Rating: PG to PG-13
Main characters: Evan Rosier, 7th year Slytherin, and Dorcas Meadows, 4th year Ravenclaw. Yes, I took a bit of liberty with them as there is not a lot of information on them in canon, but what liberties I did take were in accordance with canonical information.
Genre: General, though some can interpret as potential shippiness.
It was his last day in Hogwarts, and there were so many other, more acceptable ways of spending it. He'd never deigned to visit the kitchens at home, and that was the way it was supposed to be. He was a Rosier—a Pureblood, at the top of the Wizarding World's elite.
But the House Elves would not tell, and neither would the girl seated quietly across from him. Evan Rosier scowled a bit into his goblet. He really had no business associating with her, and it was a sin far greater than entering a kitchen.
"A knut for your thoughts?" her soft, harmonious voice broke through his musings, and he looked up with a condescending sneer.
"Only a knut?" he drawled. "That's very… frugal."
"I'm not very wealthy," the dark-haired Ravenclaw replied succinctly. Dark, velvety eyes lifted to gaze into his sharp blue ones. "And I shall not give more for your thoughts than they warrant."
"Are you implying that I'm stupid?" Rosier inquired, his voice cold but not angry. She wasn't worth getting angry over.
She sneered in imitation of him. "I wouldn't dare."
"Good," he snapped. He truly didn't understand why he would associate with Dorcas Meadows. She was a Mudblood Ravenclaw with a terrible propensity towards naïve honesty and philosophical discussions—Muggle philosophy, no less! She wasn't particularly beautiful either, but then again, she was a Mudblood.
"Perhaps instead of a knut for your thoughts, you need a cheering charm," she remarked idly, glancing up into his face dispassionately. "You look as though you've just been force-fed murtlap extract."
"Nothing you'd like to know, I'm sure," he sneered, taking a long sip of his drink. "I doubt you'd understand."
Most girls would be angry at a statement like that, he was sure. A part of him half-wished that she'd lose her damnable composure as well and crackle with rage. Surely a smart girl like her would take his statement as intended, an insult to her intelligence? But Dorcas merely gave him a tolerant sort of smile, faintly amused. "Well then—that gives it away, doesn't it? It must be something that I, being who I am and what I am, would never be privy to."
The statement wasn't completely direct, but the implication was pointed enough. "And what if I were thinking of those things?" he asked in a low, challenging voice. "They're true, after all."
"Perhaps," she started calmly, "Some aspects of your life are superior to mine. You're respected and feared because of your formidable bloodline. You're wealthy and established and intelligent and handsome. In the sort of society where that matters, you're royalty. And I'm unworthy of wiping your dragon-hide shoes."
"Good that you understand the state of things," he remarked coolly.
"But," she continued, her voice harder, "that's not to say that I can't be respected in my own right. The world may be organized a certain way that does not favour me, but it is not beholden to me. It doesn't matter that I am nothing like you."
It was a very ambitious statement, coming from a skinny 4th year girl with too-big eyes. Something about it both drew and repelled him, and he had a vague, nagging feeling that this hint of inexorable intransigence in her personality would lead to both her glory and her downfall, and a part of him didn't want to witness either. Shunting the strange thought aside, he smirked at her. "Oh, I'm fairly sure that you'll make Prefect next year, if that's what you're going on about. Professor Dumbledore does have an enormous sense of… egalitarianism."
Both of them knew that a Prefect appointment had nothing to do with it, but she humoured him like always. "Thank you, of course, for your vote of confidence," she said dryly. "I don't know why I put up with you sometimes, Evan."
"You know, I was wondering the same thing earlier, why I put up with you," he remarked, and the conversation shifted into smoother waters. The question remained unanswered as both finished their snacks, and lingered on Evan Rosier's mind as he strode back to his Common Room. After all, she was nothing but a worthless Mudblood.